Colusa City Council denies Brown Act violations
Citizens have again taken issue with the contract between the Colusa City Council and Mark Mayuga's economic consulting firm while Jan McClintock was city manager in 2011.
In a letter approved last week, the City Council denied all implications of the 2012-13 Colusa County Grand Jury that the previous city administration violated the state's Brown Act and failed to use the competitive bidding process.
The allegations in the latest jury report were continued investigations from the 2011-12 jury report regarding the conduct of the city while McClintock was city manager. At that time, the council included Patrick Landreth, Donna Critchfield, Kay Hosmer, Kirk Kelleher and Tom Reische.
The jury report states that it confirmed the city did not post a request for proposal for the hiring of an economic consulting firm, Urban Ideation.
"The sitting manager had a previous business relationship with that particular consulting firm, and, based on her recommendation, the consulting firm was hired," the report said.
In March 2011, the council approved a two-year contract for $189,000 with the consulting firm, expecting to pay the fee with funds from the a state redevelopment agency.
However, "the RDA state agency basically denied that as being an applicable contract," said officer manager Toni Benson.
The jury report also said, "A review of the confidential status reports provided to the City Council by the economic development consulting firm showed minimal evidence of its ability to attract viable businesses to the city," and the contract was terminated.
According to Benson, the city paid the firm $141,750 from the General Fund.
The city's response to the jury said, "Since the hiring of the consultant in March of 2011, the City has updated its purchasing policies and procedures to include additional requirements and procedures for the hiring of consultants."
The jury report also raised concern that the city may have violated the Brown Act in a meeting regarding McClintock's contract, however due to a lack of minutes taken in closed meeting sessions, that concern was unable to be substantiated.
At the end of the council meeting on Aug. 20, Councilwoman Marilyn Acree said she would like to discuss the city adopting the practice of taking notes on closes session to create "a formal city record."
The council agreed to discuss the idea in a future meeting.